Assurance is unattainable without obedience.
Seventhly, The Christian’s imitation of Christ, under penalty of losing his claim to Christ, necessarily implies sanctification and obedience to be the evidences of our justification and interest in Christ: Assurance is unattainable without obedience; we can never be comfortable Christians except we be strict and regular Christians. Gal. 6:16. “As many as walk according to this rule, peace be unto them, and mercy; and upon the Israel of God.” A loose and careless conversation can never be productive of true peace and consolation, 2 Cor. 1:12. “This is our rejoicing, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world.” Let men talk what they will of the immediate sealings and comforts of the Spirit, without any regard to holiness, or respect to obedience; sure I am, whatever delusion they meet with in that way, true peace, and consolation is only to be expected and found here: “The fruit of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness, and assurance for ever.” We have it not for our holiness, but we always have it in the way of holiness. And so much of the first particular, namely, what the imitation of Christ implies and comprizes in it.
Flavel, J. (1820). The Whole Works of the Reverend John Flavel (Vol. 2, p. 401). London; Edinburgh; Dublin: W. Baynes and Son; Waugh and Innes; M. Keene.
- One hour spent under the cross, while the soul is thus elevated—thus abased—thus joyful—and thus sorrowful—is better than a thousand of earthly delights.
- Meditation is the chewing upon the truths we have heard: The beasts in the old law that did not chew the cud, were unclean: the christian that doth not by meditation chew the cud, is to be accounted unclean. Meditation is like the watering of the seed, it makes the fruits of grace to flourish.
- The Bible is thought of as authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.
- Remember you are not a tree, that can stand alone; you are only “a branch,” and it is only while you abide in Him, as a branch, that you will flourish.
- The Sabbath is the great day for gathering in souls—it is Christ’s market-day.